Dear Liberals, About Your Candidate

Dear Liberals, as some states are already starting to vote, many people further left of you are stuck with a dilemma. We went into the primaries knowing who the candidate would be because the DNC told us from the start. They didn’t even hide it this time. They barely hid it in 2016.

So, now, we are stuck with a candidate that, for a lot of us, literally the only reason to vote for him is that he is not Trump.

The only reason that a lot of us are going to vote for him is that every day, Trump makes it more and more clear that “Not Trump” is an important answer.

That said, a lot of us are going to be really pissed if you guys just take this opportunity to go back to “normal,” because while Biden is “not Trump” in a literal sense, from an overall systemic/policy standpoint, he’s only barely.

How the fuck are you going to foist a racist white man and a cop on a bunch of people who are literally in the middle of fighting against racist white men and cops and then get all pissy when they have reservations about voting for them?

“Do it for the queer and black folk who are suffering under Trump, not voting for Biden says you don’t care for them!” you scream in the faces of queer and black folk who have been raising the alarm since before the primaries began.

A system that consistently requires you to vote for the “lesser evil” because they are going to hurt you a little less, will always eventually result in evil.

What I am getting at, in my long-winded, fatigued, ranting sort of way, is this:

You are telling us we should vote for Biden because we have a better chance of influencing him. I better see people trying. I better see people just as angry about all the bullshit in March as they are now.

Liberals come out and say the same bullshit every time around and expect us to believe it even though if the policies and actions of the presidents we have elected are any solid indications, we have been operating under Republican presidents since Ragen.

Democrats have been a bit nicer to black folk, and queer folk, but cops are still killing black people in the streets, and police precincts are still labeling queer murders as low priority, and anyone who works to fix it is told they are hurting their cause pretty much by existing.

So, yes, I got my ballot and filled it in. Literally, the only thing Biden has going for him at this point is that he hasn’t been promising to subvert the constitution for the last three years running (and acting on it at every chance).

It is the end of September. Sometime in November, we will get the results of the election. I don’t care who wins, people need to be on the streets agitating and organizing. If their guy wins, you need to do everything you can to work to minimize the impact of his bullshit. After all, it will confirm the mandate that he thinks he has to be just terrible.

If your guy wins, you still need to be on the streets agitating, and organizing, to make this world a better safer place, and to actually do the thing you have been so good at proving is only lip service in past. Hold the asshole accountable.

At the end of the day, we have to pick between the guy who is currently wielding the system against us, and the guy who helped build that system. The only thing tipping the scales is that one of them is actually threatening to ignore the results of the electoral process.

There really isn’t a lot more to go into about the situation without making the idea of voting for Biden feel worse. The moment when Liberals should have flooded the streets is when the DNC made it clear that they didn’t care about the actual will of the people. The DEMOCRATS should have torn the Democratic party apart and rebuilt it starting in 2016, if not earlier.

I know that past performance does not automatically indicate future results, but sorry if a lot of people whose lives are most affected in all of this don’t have a lot of confidence in Liberals’ promises to hold their guy accountable.

Conservatives are NOT Oppressed

If you are an American Conservative, you are NOT OPPRESSED. PERIOD. FUCK THAT NOISE.

Our country is ruled by a single neoliberal faction. The US Republican Party represents the right-leaning portion of that faction. The Democratic Party represents the left-leaning portion.

Like the saying goes, two wings, one fucking bird.

Our electoral system is not geared towards deciding which faction will rule. It is geared toward determining how openly homicidal the ruling faction will be.

That is why we argue so much over the subject of electoral politics. It’s a stopgap. It still plays a role in keeping things from being complete hell for actual oppressed groups, but it does not change the fact that our country is run by neoliberals.

Neoliberalism, in American political terms, is basically the fucked up brand of conservatism that is perfectly fine destroying the world as long as profits keep rolling in. It is a right of center philosophy that tends to revolve around centrism (again, in US terms).

This is part of why it takes so long to explain American politics to outsiders.

As a nation, we are so god damned convinced that Republicans are right-wing, and Democrats are left-wing, that we just don’t have a proper frame of reference for discussion with anyone who has lived in a country with an actual left wing.

The last time we had anything resembling left-wing politics in the US was the early 1950s.  That ended in fire and we have not held power since.

This is why our left-wing politicians are still asking for basic respect and basic needs to be met in terms of the existing Capitalistic system. This why people like AOC are seen as radical, when she is barely to the left of Sanders, who is only a bit left of the Democratic Party as a whole.

This is why our nations “left-wing” party is literally tying access to candidacy to money and has recently won lawsuits saying that the democratic process is optional.

If you are a “Liberal” or a “Conservative” in the US, you are not oppressed. Your faction rules with an iron fist. They actively killed their opposition at the first expedient opportunity, over sixty years ago. And, at this point in time, as of 2019, it is the wing that calls themselves Conservatives that is actively in charge of the country.

When the Pepper Spray Hits Your Face

First, there is a moment of confusion as your body decides what just happened and how to respond. It fails to come to a decision and falls back on the most instinctive of responses: Pain.

The skin of your face burns, your pulse rises, your fight or flight instinct engages fully as your body thinks it is on fire.

When it hits your eyes, you are blinded. The first instinct is to close your eyes tightly and keep them closed, but even if you can keep them open, the fire is hard to focus through. You have to depend on your hands and ears to maneuver, and your most recent memory of what was going on around you.

If you have had training, you vaguely remember that you are supposed to blink. Blink as much as you can so that your body can make tears to wash it away. After all, the fire isn’t real. There aren’t any burns. That knowledge might help a bit. Remember that.

You are vulnerable. You are scared. You have to pull yourself under control.

Your eyes burn and itch. That is the worst part. The skin sucks, but the eyes hurt the most and short circuit everything else.

And the grittiness. Odds are no one ever warned you about that. It’s the reason, though, that you DON’T wear contacts to a protest. It will scratch your eyes, and burn like hell, and haunt you for a week, but unless you are wearing contacts it’s not likely to do permanent damage. Remember that.

At this point, it is important to regain focus.  Every bit of knowledge and training that you remember is an anchor to pull yourself out of the mess.

Fresh water, milk, baby shampoo, and a number of other “wives remedies” will get your eyes and skin clean. If you don’t have something on you, one of the more experienced protesters may. Do whatever you can to clear your eyes on site. The police are most likely already kettling, and you probably aren’t going to get proper medical treatment before the next day.

Remember your mission, your purpose. Remember why you are there. Push through as best you can until you can focus enough to function again. Keep moving if you can. The people who sprayed you didn’t do so for your own good.


So, I wanted to talk a bit today about pepper spray. A lot of the same concepts apply to tear gas as well.

If you are going to get involved in direct action, this is part of why we mask up. A mask dampened mask will help keep gas away from your lungs, at least a bit. A proper mask works even better and is actually available these days on Amazon.

Eye protection, if it is available, can be good as well, but again NO CONTACTS. I don’t care if you don’t expect police involvement, never wear contacts to a protest/demonstration/direct action event.

If you decide to get active with your local IWW, Socialist, Anarchist, Social Democrat groups, get used to the idea of wearing your regular glasses (if you need them) to meetings and not contact lenses. Yes, meetings are probably safe, but building proper habits are important, and if you wear contact lenses you already have a really bad one to combat.

What I described above is not an exaggeration or an educated guess. It’s from first-hand experience. The first time you get hit, there very may well be a moment when your brain just throws off a bright flash of light while it processes what the fuck just happened. After that, you need to depend on instinct and training to keep yourself focused.

Gas can be worse though. It’s less painful, but on top of getting in your eyes, it will basically push your sinuses out through your face. Ok, THAT is an exaggeration, but that’s what it feels like when your nose starts running along with your eyes.

If anyone reading this has been exposed recently to tear gas, feel free to do a writeup on it, and I will add it as well. Last time I went through it in any real sort of way was over a decade ago, so it is not near as fresh as the most recent pepper spray incident.

Again, if you DO expect police involvement, stay close to the more experienced guys. This means communicating with your group. Find the military/ex-military guys and the experienced protesters that have been in jail a few times. They will be the ones to stay close to if you have to get the hell out of dodge with your eyes on fire.

A Community Concept

My wife is having guests over, so I decided to head to the coffee shop to get some writing done. 

It got me to thinking. 

The shop in question is comfortable.  There are places to sit and read,  write, or whatever. It’s got a comfortable living room type atmosphere,  with nooks where various types of people tend to gravitate to do their thing (whatever that thing is).

The coffee is not bad and costs about half as much as a certain other well known chain.

It also reminds me a lot of the Manga/Internet cafes that are common in Japan. I’ll go into more detail shortly.

It’s comfortable,  but it’s not free.  There is the expectation that you will be spending money while you are there.

Now, how this ties into Manga/Internet Cafes:

All over Japan,  and especially in larger cities,  there are places that are variably called Internet Cafes,  Manga Cafes,  Net Clubs,  and various other names.

The details and level of comfort vary but the default pattern is like this. 

You have a place,  often a membership club but non-members are ok for a few hundred yen extra.  You are basically paying by the hour to use the facility, and most places have an overnight pack for as little as 900 to 1400 yen a night.  You just have to check in after 2000 or so.

You have a booth with a computer that will generally have a comfortable chair,  a sofa, or just tatami or foam mats.  The booth is usually the size of an office cubicle.

While you are there,  you have access to the internet,  restrooms, and an extensive library of manga and sometimes other more useful books. 

It’s kept at a comfortable temperature, and the lighting is kept low in the area with the cubicles. 

It is entirely understood that those using the overnight pack will likely be sleeping at least six of their eight to twelve-hour stay. 

And on top of all that, these places usually have diner type food available, WiFi,  and for 100 yen,  you can use the showers. 

Needless to say, if I am traveling alone in Japan, I have no need for a hotel. If I’m with my family,  of course,  it’s a different story. 

In addition to what is described above,  many also have common areas where you are allowed to talk more and make more noise.  This is often where you will find a handful of higher-end computers specifically made for gaming. 

So, as all this information was rolling around in my head, a thought occurred to me. 

Why could we not do something like this in the US?

A group of people or an organization could come together to buy a building in the city and build just such an establishment. The establishment can then be used to help homeless and at-risk people in its community. 

Membership cards can be used as a tool to help eliminate the stigma associated with seeking help.  After all, if you tie payment options to a single card (i.e. the account could have a credit/ debit card or PayPal account on file) then no one has to know if the guy who just swiped their card and left had to pay or not.

The addition of a mail room could also allow designated members to have a mailing address for all the purposes or society makes them necessary. 

Homelessness is a major issue in our cities. This is not because of some inherent problem with cities,  but rather its easier for most people to survive there than in rural environments. Especially come wintertime. 

Imagine the impact that would be made if a place was available where people could have access to a community, education (the library), and a hot shower.  Imagine being able to list an address on a job application, or knowing that if you can’t scrounge enough for a decent meal you’ll have access to something at least better than microwave ramen.

I like what Japan has done with their Manga Cafes,  but I think that if you weren’t worried about making a profit, and wanted to build a community,  it could be taken further. 

The basic blueprint is already there. We just have to build on that. 

The main concerns people are likely to present are funding, security, and privacy. 

I’m not going to say these are actually easy hurdles,  but I’m going to at least address each of them here. 

I list funding first because, in any endeavor, that is the elephant in the room. 

Even if what we are discussing helps to subvert the Capitalist system, we are still stuck working in that framework. 

Incorporation is going to be a must. Non-profit status may be desirable. Either way, we need to keep its funding separate from our own,  except as far as salaries are concerned. An organization also provides continuity.

Funding would have to rely heavily on paying members, donations, and other profitable endeavors that the organization may undertake. 

I know this is an incomplete answer, but I think this deserves a conversation of its own rather than just one person saying “this is how it will/should work.”

Security is, perhaps, a little easier to address. We on the left have had a few hundred years at least to think on that one.

First of all, if a facility is operational twenty-four hours a day,  it should also be continually staffed.

The people we bring into the fold as staff should all be trained in how to deal with most likely security situations. Flat up, we should police our own. The most important security concern is simply a matter of being present. Being present will minimize theft as well as preventing most other issues from escalating. 

For things beyond that, training. 

I don’t want to create a place of safety and comfort for societies most abused just to invite their most likely abusers in the moment things get stressful.

While we should not be antagonistic to law enforcement, we should not invite them in for any situation that the law does not specifically require it.

If that makes me sound a bit like a mob boss,  fuck it. Another thing my time in Japan helped me to learn was an odd degree of respect for properly organized organized crime.

Now,  privacy:

Our society attaches stigma to fucking everything, especially anything related to poverty. 

Once established, we should make our presence known and facilitate those who need our services. We should also take measures to eliminate the separation between those who are paying customers and those who are not. 

Membership cards make this sort of thing a lot easier than may have been in the past. No one has to know what status is associated with a card. No one has to know if the person in line ahead of them is a regular customer, or if they basically live there.

And for those approaching us for the first time,  again, that is where training comes in. 

Those who such an organization employs must share the organization’s values as much as possible. They need to understand discretion and compassion. They need to be the sort that is willing to say “fuck it,” and write off a meal as a loss in the ledger rather than let someone go hungry.  And those in charge have to give them the authority to do so.

So, in summary:

I would love to see something similar in structure to the Manga/Internet cafe in Japan taken to another level and leveraged towards fighting poverty. 

I think it could work,  but it would have to be an intentional effort, and the initial resources would be a heavy lift.

I’ve been trying to find a way to express these ideas for a while. I’m surprised I didn’t think of this sooner. 

Feel free to comment on this post.  Going forward we have to communicate and share ideas.

Going forward, we need to work together to find solutions to local and global problems.

Why we say “Don’t call the Cops”

CN: Discussion of Suicidal ideation, death, mental health, mental illness, police violence, well-intentioned NT (neurotypical) fuckery.











This has been rolling around in my head all day. 

A string of conversation that I see online on a regular basis is posts, that often turn into arguments,  about not calling the cops on people who are discussing suicide and death on social media. This is especially true on Facebook. 

I didn’t actually get to sit down and write this when I first started it. That’s ok though because it means I have had time to be in a better headspace.

I will start by saying this: Suicidal ideations, and being suicidal, are not the same thing. They can be connected, but they are separate things. Talking online about suicidal ideation is often the opposite of being suicidal. As a friend put it, it is more like letting off steam in a pressure cooker.

There are people in your life that, due to trauma or just having a messed up brain, think about death at least a few times a day. Sometimes they think about it several times a day. For some, it is a source of stress. For others, it is just something that is there, at the edge of their mind.

It is very much a symptom of PTSD and other disorders, but there is not always anything we can do about it. Except talk.

Sometimes, a lot of times, for a lot of people, talking about it, even vaguely, is an important part of keeping suicidal ideations, and being actively suicidal, as separate things. Talking about the screwed up things going through our heads can help us to keep them that way, in our heads. It can help to keep them from moving from the realm of everpresent thoughts to the realm of plans.

Once it gets to the realm of plans, it’s time to seek help. For some people seeking help isn’t a viable option.

So, with that morbid groundwork out of the way: If you see a friend talking about suicidal thoughts on social media, DON’T CALL THE COPS.

I hear about it all the time. Some well-intentioned individual (benefit of the doubt here) called the cops or reported the post to Facebook.

Don’t be that person. It’s likely to do more harm than good.

If you think that your friend is in a bad spot, reach out to them. Talk to them. Ask them if they are ok. If you are not personally emotionally strong enough to do so, get someone else to. Either it will turn out that they are just fine, and just needed a place to vent, or they will be open to seeking help.

If you call the cops though, they have a good chance of ending up dead.

Police, in the vast majority of cases, are not trained in dealing with mental health crises. Police these days consistently prove that they are crap at de-escalation. It is also not unheard of for police to arrive on scene and end up shooting the suicidal individual (who might not have actually even been suicidal before the police arrived).

But, let’s say it does end well. Let’s say that the police get there and check up on your friend and no one gets shot. What now?

They may or may not know who called, but they are unlikely to speak out on social media again any time soon. The ideations don’t magically go away. They just don’t have the outlet that used to be there for them. You proved to them that it was unsafe to talk about their mental health in that environment.

Also, and this should be obvious with what I posted above, but, don’t report the post to Facebook either.

If you report it to Facebook, one of four things is going to happen. 

1.  Facebook is going to ignore the report.

2.  Facebook is going to call the cops. (see everything above)

3.  Facebook is going to send them a concerned message from a bot, letting them know that one of their friends ratted them out and will do so again given the opportunity (again, see above), and offer them a few resources that you yourself could have messaged them directly with.

4.  Facebook may ban them for anywhere from 24 hours to permanently, for violating the terms of service.

Basically, reporting them to Facebook is only useful if you are trying to isolate your “friend” from whatever support network they have in place.

If you are going to help, try to help directly. If you are going to contact someone, contact someone who can actually help. Either someone who is trained to deal with such things or someone who your friend trusts and lives close to. But, try to talk to them first. Find out from them where they are and what their headspace is like.

There is a good chance that if they are talking about such things on Facebook, but not discussing plans, that they are just talking. Getting the stuff out of their head and into the ether, so that it doesn’t eat them.

We all have our demons, and most of us need our friends to help fight them. Don’t be the one that feeds us to them.

It’s Not The Same

Content Notice: hitler mention, pre-war Germany, nazis, current American political climate, trump, death, Auschwitz, gas chamber mention, citizenship proof.

Why can’t they get it?

When actual Jews, survivors included, tell you our country is acting like pre-war Germany,  you know there is a problem.

I fucking knew the word Auschwitz before I knew my family was Catholic.

I wasn’t born a century ago,  but I grew up with stories about pre-war Germany. As a child,  I literally had nightmares about that camp. I lost a lot of my family there.

But, that’s not what frustrates me most.

Men and women with number tattoos speak out and are ignored.  Sometimes they are verbally attacked. Some people even accuse them of antisemitism… For comparing the events of this decade to what happened to them.

This is the problem with creating a romanticized image of past atrocities.

People have this storybook image of Germany leading up top WWII.

They see the Hollywood images of grand balls masking the most horrid atrocities.

They have an understanding of the Holocaust that goes from proud Yiddish shop keepers and Yiddish kids polishing boots,  to gas chambers and aerial bombardment over the course of an hour and forty minutes.

They don’t see themselves in that.

They don’t see that in the environment around them.

They don’t understand the parallels,  because everyone that was there is either dead or too old to fight them.

It didn’t start with gas chambers.

It started with a fucked over economy.

It started with grumblings over lack of work.

It started with the rise of politicians that said they would make the fatherland great again.

Then,  with the rise of nationalism came a need for a scapegoat. Nationalism doesn’t work without an “other.”

First it was the easy targets. Homosexuals, trans people,  the physically and mentally disabled.

First, it was words,  then it was looking the other way while “ruffians” carried out the will behind those words.

Then, it was “Papers Please,” as the government began taking a hand in deciding just who was and was not German.

Then it was who was and was not sufficiently German.

People are fast to say “But he has Hispanic supporters.  He has black supporters. He has gay supporters.”

So did Hitler.

Half of my grandfather’s family died because they were “Good Germans.”

They died because they loved Germany,  they supported their Fuhrer. They stood proud for their country.  They rightly expected the same in return.

Those that survived did so by recognizing the signs. They abandoned everything they had and left their home behind.

They were fortunate and they knew the system. They understood what it meant to be a German in America,  and that it would save them here when it would not in Germany.

Those that refused to see,  died.

This is not a reaction to Trump alone.

We were not silent when the PATRIOT Act created the Department of Homeland Security.

We were not silent when state after state started actively persecuting trans women.

We were not blind when immigrants,  even those on long term visas were deported in mass numbers.

We are not suddenly overreacting.

We’ve been on this spiral for at least eighteen years, and that’s a conservative estimate.

It is just that now, we are officially to the point where American citizens have to fear detainment because they are not American enough.

We are to the point where our nation’s leadership spouts hate towards various groups,  and “ruffians” are going out and acting on the implied will of those words. And when they are not caught,  the government is silent. When they are, it is either played off as nothing, or words are spoken that imply tacit approval.

The leadership of our nation talks in terms of good Americans and enemies,  and both groups are American citizens.

But,  it’s not the same.  There are no parallels.  Sure, Citizens are having to carry paperwork to prove they are American in order to avoid detainment,  but that’s not the same.

Status Report

Good afternoon everyone.

Life has been busy, but going well.  For those of you following on Patreon, this post, like most “status reports” will be posted to both Patreon and my blog at the same time.

As I said before, I hope to produce at least two posts a month, with the intent of producing actual good/useful content. I am working on a list of topics to write about here on my blog. If you would like to see me post on a specific topic, feel free to let me know!

I am generating a timetable to write on certain topics, but if something of urgency arrives I can adjust that schedule to make room for more current topics.

Preparing for Direct Action

So, this rolled across my screen in the memories section. I wrote the bottom half but not the top, but it is still all good information to remember if you are preparing to attend a protest or any kind of direct action.

When I saw this today, my first thought was that it was good timing. People have been in the streets all along over the last decade or two, but it is starting to get attention again. When these things get attention, they tend to grow, and tend to get more police attention as well. So, I am cleaning this post up a bit and reposting it.

So, here is a list of pointers for attending protests and direct actions. The original list (items 1 – 10) was distributed with the request that everyone distribute it as a copy and paste (as opposed to a share) without attribution. Feel free to do that now with this version.

The significance of copy and pasting rather than just hitting share (or your platforms equivalent) is twofold. First, it potentially helps to mask the source. Second, and perhaps more importantly, if an account gets taken down or a post gets deleted, and you hit the share button, then on most platforms that means your share of it disappears as well. By copying it to a new post, it makes it harder to erase the data. This is important, pass it on.

  1. Water makes pepper spray worse. Use milk or liquid antacid and water. Don’t wear contacts.
  2. If you get tear gassed, when you get home, put the contaminated clothes in a plastic bag for later decontamination and shower with cold water to avoid opening your pores.
  3. Come with friends and don’t get separated. Avoid leaving the crowd and watch out for police snatch squads.
  4. Beware undercovers, but beware snitchjacketing and collaborator ‘peace police’ even more.
  5. The far right is very good at combing through pictures and doxxing people. Mask up.
  6. Write any necessary phone numbers you may need directly on your skin in sharpie.
  7. Have an offsite plan for emergencies if you have not been heard from by X time coordinated with someone offsite.
  8. Make sure all mobile devices are charged!!
  9. If you plan on going to jail, plan it: bail, lawyer, time off from work, witnesses i.e.: a cadre. Don’t just go to jail without training.
  10. Beware folks inciting violence. Most of them are police/ feds. Watch out for hook ups for the same reason. Get to know the crowd. They will set you up.

Please don’t share this status. Copy paste it without attribution.

My personal addendum (feel free to copy this as well)

If you’ve got friends that are ex-military or have done security work, or have just been sprayed a time or two before, stay close. They will respond differently than someone being sprayed for the first time.

Also, to reiterate item 1: DON’T WEAR CONTACTS.


Pepper spray has a chance of getting in your eyes.

CS gas, if they use grenades WILL get in you’re eyes.

If you are wearing contacts, there is no guarantee doctors can save your eye. There is no guarantee that you will be allowed near a doctor before it’s too late.

Get some good springy glasses that will cling to your face and not break easy. If you can afford a gas mask, try to get some that will fit in the mask.

It’s better though to go without than to wear contacts.

This goes for journalists too. CS doesn’t discriminate, and these days neither do the police.

A Comment on Martin Luther King Day

As we head into this weekend, with the Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr behind us, and the holiday in his name ahead of us, I just want to take a moment to remind everyone that the version of MLK that you learned about in school was most likely whitewashed bullshit.

Yes, he did speak of the brotherhood of men, and peace was his preferred path. Yes, the words you will see attributed to him on posters at your workspaces were his words.

They were only some of his words though. The cherry-picked quotes were not the only things that he said.

Martin Luther King Jr was a civil rights leader in a time when most peaceful measures had already failed. He was a pioneer in many of the methods and techniques used today by groups like BLM and Antifa. He preferred peace but also spoke out in anger when it was appropriate.

Every time I hear someone use him as a cudgel to shame those who are “acting out,” I remember a simple quote:

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

He did not die because he was the peaceful Liberal lapdog that high school history classes would make him out to be. He died because he was a strong black leader, who felt that Humanity could do better and had the gall to say so. He understood at times that, though he favored peace, it was not always an option.

This is all I am going to say for now. If I see commentary from black folk or other people of color, I will try to signal boost it where I can. People that look like me have said enough over the years about MLK (and, quite frankly, a lot of what they said was bullshit, which is a major point in my post).

In a few days is the day we remember his life. If you get a chance, take a bit of time to actually learn about his life, his ideas, his methods, and put some of it into action.

The Contents of an IFAK (Starting to Think About First Aid)

Sorry I haven’t posted anything of substance in a while. I hope to change that. Among the other things that I post will be some articles on being prepared for the environments we may find ourselves in.

To those who haven’t been watching the news for the last few years, or who have never been to a protest, some of these articles may seem a bit paranoid.

To those who have been active in the various civil rights movements for longer, some of this will seem like old news.

A big part of preparedness though is thinking through what you need to do in case everything goes to hell.

So, my first article is going to be talking about first aid kits, and more specifically what the US Marine Corp carries in their default kit.


Because we can no longer depend on the idea that the opposition will not be using firearms. We can no longer depend on the idea that the police are going to render aid or allow emergency crews to render aid if there is an injury.

The over-militarization of our police departments, on more than one occasion, has lead to the obvious result of the police treating protest situations like a warzone.

First things first, I am going to start by listing the contents of a USMC IFAK (Individual First Aid  Kit). It will be a bit dry and too the point, but by just listing it out we will have a starting point.

Better yet, it will be written in a manner that might allow you to plug different things into google or Amazon more easily.

The IFAK is a first aid kit issued to Soldiers and Marines in the US Military, though the Army and Marines have slightly different load outs. It is also an example of items to consider when you are building your own emergency first aid kit.

The USMC IFAK contains the following:

A trauma kit containing:

* Bandage, Elastic, (2 EA) (field dressings)
* Bandage, Gauze, (2 Rolls)
* Tourni-Kwik Tourniquet, One Handed, (1 EA)
* Wound Pack (QuikClot), Hemostatic Treatment, (1 EA)

A Minor First Aid Kit containing:

* Bandage, Adhesive ¾” x 3″, (10 EA)
* Dressing, Burn 4″ x 16″, (1 EA)
* Povidone-Iodine Topical Solution. USP. 10% 1/2 Fl. Oz. Bt, (1 Bottle)
* Water Purification Tablet, Iodine 8 mg., (1 Bottle)
* Triangular Bandages 40″ x 40″ x 56″, (1 EA)
* Bandage, Adhesive 2″ X 4.5″, (5 EA)

Newer kits will also contain a pain relief pack that is pretty much a heavy dose of Acetaminophen because it is one of the few pain relievers available that are not also blood thinners. This is important in a combat environment where you may be prone to heavy bleeding and might find yourself waiting a while before you get any kind of proper treatment.

Newer kits also include an occlusive dressing (sometimes with valves), designed to cover a sucking chest wound.

Combat Corpsmen (medics) and specially trained “CLS” Marines carry more extensive packs, but they are specialized medical personnel. The list above is what the rank and file Marine carries.

As we have seen over the last decade or more, any protest activity has a chance to become violent. Any protest activity that directly targets Capitalism has a very high chance to become violent. Any protest activity that directly targets racism or Fascism is almost guaranteed to get violent.

Sadly, the most violent actors are likely to be the police themselves.
With recent media activity, many police departments are trying to change this image, but they don’t seem to be doing much to change the actual overall reality of things.
Fascists and White Nationalists are also starting to wise up to the fact that when we come, we are ready to defend ourselves against them if needed.

This means that not only do we need to be prepared to deal with actual combat scenarios, but we need to be prepared to deal with the aftermath as well. When a brother or sister falls, we need to get them out of there and get them stable. The stuff in the list above may seem simple, it may not seem like a lot, but it is a set of tools that anyone can learn to use.

In short: The gauze is for dressing and packing of wounds, and the elastic bandages apply pressure.

That is the most important part. Stop the bleeding. Tourniquets are for worse cases where you just can’t stop the bleeding or they are bleeding too fast to risk it.

The first aid process can be summarized as follows:

1. Get them off the X. Get them away from what is causing the harm.
2. Stop the bleeding.
3. Apply other measures as needed.

If you have time to prepare before a protest, make sure that as many people as possible are carrying portable first aid kits that have, at a minimum, the sort of things listed above. And, make sure as many people as possible are trained to use them: Especially the plastic bandages and gauze.

If your group is organized enough to do so, also try to have people who stay back away from the front lines of the fight who can deal with more serious injuries when they arise.
I will try to go into more detail with future posts. Let me know if there are any particular topics you want me to go over.

Note: While I was writing this, I found a resource that is very much worth taking a look at. The people over at Paper Revolution have an entire page related to resources for Street Medics and those who want to become Street Medics.

Check it out at:

Remember, and they have a similar notice on their page, what I have provided here is just a starting point. It is not, in and of itself, full training. The biggest thing we can do to prepare for any situation is to educate ourselves and train.